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ARCH. McGOUN, Jr., B.A., B.C.L. ; 


- 22nd Public Meeting, held in the William Molson Hall.. 
McGill [Jniversiti, on the 18th November, 1884. 



9004 034676 137 


Queen's University at Kingston 


(-Purckased jor 4a J^rne fierce fylUdtimi, 
at Qumm's unwersitzj OKmc 


The twenty-second public meeting of the University Literary 
Society was held in the William Molson Hall, McGill College, on 
Tuesday, the 18th November, 1884, when there was a large attend- 
ance of the members of the Society and their friends. On the plat- 
form were Sir William Dawson, Principal of McGill University ; 
Rev. Dr. Cornish, Professor of Classical Literature ; and Mr. Alex. G. 
Cross, Vice-President of the Society. The President, Mr. Arch. 
McGoun, Jr., delivered the following address : 

Members of the University Literary Society, Ladies and Gentle- 
men — I cannot but feel that it is a distinguished honour for me to 
address this meeting in the halls of old McGill. My first duty is to 
thank my fellow-members for their confidence shown in electing me 
to the highest office in their gift. It is difficult to find words to 
express the pride and affection I feel and have ever felt in and for 
the University Literary Society. I have also to thank the Prin- 
cipal, Sir William Dawson, for honouring us with his presence on 
the platform to-night. This is the first meeting for many years the 
Society has held in the college buildings, and it will be a source of 
satisfaction to me that during my. term of office closer relations shall 
have been established between the Society and our Alma Mater. 
To you, ladies and gentlemen, I extend the Society's cordial wel- 
come. I am not so vain as to imagine that your presence is due to 
myself. I believe you are drawn by sympathy for the objects of 
the Society, respect and veneration for the University with which 
we are connected, and, perhaps, interest in the grand subject I have 
chosen for my address. Without further preface, I shall proceed to 
consider this subject of a Federation of the Empire. 

About seven or eight years ago, when I was a law student, a 
number of young men organized, in an old hall near the foot of 
Bieury street, an amateur Parliament, in which I was a member of 
Her Majesty's loyal Opposition. After defeating what it is hardly 
4 necessary to say was an effete and corrupt administration, our party 
took office, and as a Minister of the Crown, I had the honour of 
introducing a resolution in the following terms : 

Resolved, That an address be presented to Her Majesty in 
Council, declaring that, in the opinion of this House, a Royal Com- 
mission should be appointed, consisting of representatives from the 
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and from each of 
the self-governing colonies, to consider and report upon the best 
means of securing a Federation of the Empire. 

It would be tedious to follow out all the fortunes of this humble 
address. Suffice it to say that Her Majesty never appointed a 
Royal Commission, and it has remained for us to do the work over 
again. Later still, it was my privilege to read a paper before this 
Society on " The Canadian Aspect of Imperial Federation," which 
gave rise to a debate extending over three Friday nights, and result- 
ed in a fourfold division of the members, among supporters of 
Imperial Federation, of the preservation of the present condition of 
things, of Independence, and of Annexation, the last receiving the 
support of one honourable member. In the discussions that took 
place on those occasions, the champions of the cause I shall 
attempt to lay before you this evening, laboured under a disadvan- 
tage. We were told that the English people cared nothing about 
Federation, and cared but little for their colonies ; that no English- 
man had ever broached a scheme that offered any inducement to 
the colonies to examine the question. Indeed it was asserted that 
our ideas were in antagonism to the professed principles of the 
leading public men in the mother country. We were told, more- 
over, that however strong our position might be regarding the sen- 
timent of the people throughout the Empire, our arguments were 
less conclusive in dealing with the material interests of the people 
of Canada. Happily I am now in a position to bring the matter 
before you upon a more satisfactory footing than ever before, many 
of the most distinguished practical statesmen of England having 
fairly set the agitation afloat, and a member of the British Associa- 
tion having presented a scheme from an economic standpoint that 
appears to remove the most serious difficulties. I trust now that 
the agitation will never cease until some practical shape shall be 
given to it. 

In the celebrated report of the Earl of Durham on the condition 
of British North America, in 1840, a passage occurs that seems to- 
foreshadow something of this kind, while indicating that the prob- 
lem had already impressed itself upon the mind of that great 
statesman. " I am of opinion," he wrote, " that the full establish- 
ment of Responsible Government can only be permanently secured 
by giving to these colonies an increased importance in the politics 
of the Empire." Great advances have been made since his day, but 
the words are still in a great measure true. I for one cannot say 
that I have any very great fault to find with the present political 
constitution of our country. But the law of nature is the necessity 
of growth ; and it is easy to discern thafsome time in the future a 
further constitutional change must come. As, therefore, it is the 
part of a prudent man to prepare for the future stages of his life, so 
it is the duty of a nation to consider what development her institu- 
tions are susceptible of, in order that she may shape her course 

In trying to map out this future there are, I think, two ideas that 
must have an important bearing upon it. One of these is our 
people's pride in their connexion with the British Empire. This is 

a sentiment so uniformly existing in the mind of our fellow country- 
men in whatever part of the globe they are to be found, that it is 
deserving of a large amount of consideration. I do not say that it 
must be the sole determining influence upon our destiny, but I do 
say that any scheme of national life that fails to take account of it 
is an incomplete scheme, and one that cannot be realized without 
destroying much that is noblest in our lives. To ignore such a 
sentiment is as futile as to construct a system of religion or philo- 
sophy without taking account of the soul. 

Co-existent with this, however, there is another sentiment, the 
germ of which is in every British breast. This is love of liberty, a 
desire for independence, an aspiration after all the attributes of na- 
tional manhood. In her internal affairs, Canada already enjoys 
almost complete autonomy ; she has acquired by precedent even 
the right to negotiate her own commercial treaties. But her 
national powers are not fully attained ; and there is no patriotic 
Canadian, at all events in the younger generation, who is not con- 
vinced that in one form or another this must come. 

Now there is only one way in which satisfaction can be given to 
these two aspirations. It is by a plan under which full national 
powers shall be acquired and the integrity of the Empire preserved, 
or, — to speak of it in business language, — by a national partnership, 
in which the mother country and the other self-governing colonies 
will join. This is the conviction entertained by those whom I may 
name the British school, at whose head I think may be placed Sir 
A. T. Gait, and Principal Grant, of Kingston. And it is a significant 
fact that one who, like Sir A. T. Gait, has always held strong views 
on the necessity offull national powers for Canada, should have come 
to the conclusion that these can be best obtained by a consolidation 
of the Empire. Mr. Blake has also several times spoken in favour 
of Imperial Federation. This will be the historical successor of the 
political school of the departed statesmen, Joseph Howe, Robert 
Baldwin and George Brown. Mr. Baldwin wrote in 1849, " I could 
look only upon those who are in favour of the continuance of the 
connexion with the mother country as political friends, those who 
are against it as political opponents. . . .It is not a question upon 
which compromise is possible." Mr. Mackenzie and Mr. Mowat 
represent the same principle among the Liberals to-day, while the 
whole political life of Sir John Macdonald antt of Sir Charles Tupper 
have been faithful to it throughout. In fact, every public man who 
has ever conquered and retained the confidence of the people of 
Canada has been imbued with the same idea. 

There is, however, another school antagonistic to this, whose 
chief exponent is Mr. Goldwin Smith, which may be called the 
American Continental School. The latter may be said to embrace 
also those who look for Independence in the sense of cutting our- 
selves adrift from the Empire, because, if such Independence be 
brought about, it will be with the view of establishing a nation more 
or less under the aegis of the Republic to our South, in furtherance 


of the American Continental idea, and in antagonism to what they 
name the European "system," and to Great Britain as supposed to 
belong to that system. 

Now there is a great deal of nonsense talked about <his Contin- 
ental idea. It is sought to be impressed upon us that because we 
live on the continent of America, we must snap every chord that 
unites us in sympathy and intercourse with the rest of the world. 
In my humble opinion that is a narrow and false notion. I believe 
that civilization will be retarded, the universal brotherhood of man, 
the federation of the world, indefinitely postponed, if the people of 
this continent determine to isolate themselves from the great nations 
of Europe. The closer the intimacy between the two continents, 
the greater will be 'he enlightenment of our people, the quicker the 
dispelling of barbarous and unworthy ideas about the common 
interests of humanity. What we want is not to shut ourselves out 
from intercourse and sympathy with the continent from which our 
ancestors came, but to mantain close and friendly relations with 
them, endeavouring, by association, to adopt the best ideas of 
European civilization. Notwithstanding the enormous rapidity of 
the development of wealth on this continent, Europe still leads the 
world in civilization, — in literature, art, science, philosophy and 
religion. Mr. Mowat, the Premier of Ontario, at the recent meeting 
in London, in furtherance of the idea of Imperial Federation, stated 
it as his opinion that the connexion between the mother country 
and Canada has been of unmixed benefit to our country. In this 
I heartily concur. But I think we should have close relations, not 
with England alone, but with all European nations, and especially 
with France. We cannot forget that a large and important section 
of our people have for France the same affection and regard that 
we have for the United Kingdom ; and on this account as well as 
on many others, we should try to tighten, rather than to sever, the 
bonds that unite us to the old world. And in spite of the friction 
that occasionally arises between the two countries, England and 
France are to-day as they have been for the last century in the van 
of civilization. And having lived in France, and come in contact 
with her people, I state it as my firm conviction, that the French 
Canadians and all Canadians will be elevated, enlightened and 
ennobled by cultivating the closest relations with la mkre patrie. 

The rontincntal idea is therefore an illiberal one ; and it assumes 
a diversity that does not exist. England, so far as I can observe, 
has more affinity with this continent than with the European. Her 
language, her laws, her political institutions are either reproduced 
or closely copied throughout this continent. Even her land tenure 
which differs from ours, differs still more widely from that of every 
leading European nation. In short except in geographical situation, 
the United Kingdom is more closely allied to America than to 
Europe. England indeed is rather cosmopolitan, her interests lie 
in every quarter of the globe ; her chief European interest is simply 
to preserve unrestricted communication with her Asiatic and 

African colonies. For all practical purposes, water brings countries 
closer together than land. For intelligence distance is totally- 
annihilated. There are already eight cables in operation between 
this continent and the European, and a number of others projected, 
while there are two in use between England and Australia. 

It is indeed my heartfelt desire that we continue to preserve the 
warmest and kindliest relations with the nation of the United States, 
but I think ladies will understand that it ought to be quite possible 
to live on the best of terms with the gentleman next door, without 
being bound to marry him. In the same way, while we are the 
best of friends with Brother Jonathan, we do not wish, for the sake 
of enjoying his friendship, to shut our doors against all our other 
friends, and particularly against our own father and mother and all 
our other brothers and sisters. 

There are some men of large hearts and wide sympathies, who 
desire to see the whole Anglo-Saxon race united in one great com- 
monwealth. While I have every sympathy with this idea, and 
while I should be glad to admit the United States into the federa- 
tion I shall propose, I cannot think that the proper way to set about 
achieving that end is by severing the ties that already exist between 
the members of the British Empire situated the wide world over. 
But there are also men who hope to prevent a perfectly practicable 
union by pretending to work for a wider one that is altogether 

Assuming then that it is desirable to maintain our connexion 
with other parts of the Empire, I shall now endeavour to indicate 
the kind of connexion that I think can be established, or to sketch 
the machinery of a Federation of the Empire. It is with some 
hesitation that I venture to submit a plan that is tolerably specific, 
and may be new in some of its features. My only apology will be 
that it is not hastily considered, but has been thought out with as 
much care as I could give to the consideration of so vast a subject. 
In speaking of this, Scotchman as I am, (quoique avant tout je sois 
Canadicn), I shall use the word English to express what relates to 
the United Kingdom, reserving the word British for its wider mean- 
ing as relating to the whole British Empire. 

It is the belief of every intelligent statesman in the United King- 
dom, that some change will have to be made in the government 
the British Isles, by which Parliament may be relieved of some of 
of its duties. Local Legislatures will be created, subordinate 
to the Central Parliament, but with somewhat extensive powers. 
Thus only can Home Rule be given to Ireland. The English 
Parliament will then be free to deal with matters relating to the 
joint interests of the three kingdoms, and of the colonies that are not 
self-governing. For these purposes which constitute the bulk of its 
important business, the present parliament should be left as it is ; 
subject only to the restrictions I shall mention, which should apply- 
also to the colonial legislatures. The Canadian Parliament, as well 
as the English, would be left with pretty much all the prerogatives 


it now enjoys. It would continne to legislate on its present subjects 
of legislation, but in matters relating to other parts of the Empire, 
and to foreign countries, its action would be subject to ratification 
by the Imperial Parliament, whose functions I am about to mention. 
The Canadian Parliament would therefore retain for Canada all the 
powers the English Parliament would retain for the United King- 
dom, and would deal with the common interests of the Canadian 
Provinces in the same way as the English Parliament with the com- 
mon interests of the three kingdoms. It would recognise Imperial 
control only in the same measure as the English. So with Australia. 
A federal union, we know, must soon be effected between the 
Australian colonies, and to this legislature I should leave the same 
autonomy as will be enjoyed by Canada and by the United King- 
dom. British Africa and other colonies might be brought in, as 
circumstances dictated. As for India, I should leave it at first, as 
at present, under the direction of the United Kingdom. 

In addition to these there would be formed an Imperial Bntish 
Parliament, with supreme authority regarding — First, Relations 
between the different parts of the Empire, Secondly, The ratifica- 
tion of Treaties with foreign Powers, Thirdly, Diplomatic and Con- 
sular services, and Fourthly, The maintenance and control of the 
Army and Navy. Each member of the federation, — England, Can- 
ada, Australia, — might negociate special treaties with foreign powers, 
such as for Canada those relating to the fisheries, or to the extradition 
of criminals, but always subject to ratification by the supreme 
British Parliament. As these Imperial functions, and especially the 
maintenance of the Army and Navy, and of the diplomatic and 
consular services, would demand a revenue, the Imperial Parliament 
should have power to tax either all parts of the Empire uniformly, 
or by special assessment any particular part that was receiving 
particular benefit from the operation of those services ; uniformly 
let us say, to keep the army and navy upon a peace footing, and by 
special assessment, in case of a war that affected some parts of the 
Empire and not others. 

The membership of this Parliament would consist, in the first 
place, of entire membership of the English House of Commons. 
And the reason is that the ancient House of Commons would not 
be altogether disposed to respect the authority or to acquiesce in 
the jurisdiction of a body less numerous than itself, but would be 
apt to treat a smaller house merely as one of its own Committees ; 
whereas if the whole house was or could be present at its delibera- 
tions, they could not complain of its usurpation of authority. The 
number of members in that House is now 658 ; namely 463 for 
England, 30 for Wales, 105 for Ireland, and 60 for Scotland. If 
on the passing of the Redistribution bill, that number be altered, it 
will be a question of simple proportion to readjust the colonial 
membership. Secondly, in the ideal house, I think all the members 
of the Parliaments of the several branches of the federation should 
be ipso facto members of the Imperial. But in the case of the 

colonies, there would be two inconveniences in the way of sending 
their entire representation ; one, that their numbers would have to 
be reduced, so as to bear to the population of their respective coun- 
tries the same ratio as the English house does to the population of 
the United Kingdom ; in the case of Canada, from 211 to 81. The 
■other objection is that it might be difficult for the entire body of 
legislators to attend every year in England. In the case of*the 
Canadian and Australian nouses, therefore, there should be selected 
the number of their members they would be entitled to in propor- 
tion to their populations. Canada's proportion in such case would 
be 81, Australia's 54, and the other self-governing colonies about 
28, making 821 members in all. These colonial members would be 
chosen by their respective legislatures, and not directly by the 
people ; both in order to preserve unimpaired the power and dignity 
of the Colonial Houses, and because it is in the highest degree im- 
portant that harmony should reign between the two legislatures. 
In order however to prevent the controlling party in the Colonial 
Parliament from electing the Imperial members entirely from its 
own ranks, a scheme of proportional representation, such as Mr. 
Blake has suggested for the protection of minorities in Parlia- 
mentary elections, should be adopted in the election by the colonial 
houses of those of their members who should represent their 
•country in the Imperial. The Colonial members would receive an 
indemnity based upon the time they were necessarily absent from 
their homes ; — for Canada, say $2,000 a year, or double what the 
members of the House of Commons now receive. If however it 
were found that the duties occupied so much of their time that they 
had practically to make it their profession, than I should say that 
salaries of $5,000 a year, the amount now paid to members of the 
United States Congress, might with advantage be paid. I would 
further opine en passant that special courses should be provided in 
our universities for men who intended to present themselves as 
candidates for election to Parliament, in order to qualify them for 
the work of legislation. 

As to the upper chamber, it would consist of the House of Lords, 
modified however so as to reduce its English membership to its 
proper proportion, and of a competent number of members of the 
Senates of the several colonies. These might be apportioned not 
in proportion to population, but in proportron to taxation, if there 
were any difference between the two. 

This Parliament would meet once a year in Westminister. Its 
session would be entirely distinct from that of the English Parlia- 
ment. The members from the colonies would be carried across the 
ocean at the government expense. They would have free, absolute- 
ly free, telegraphic facilities, during the session of Parliament, for 
all public and private business, and out of the session for public 
business. The Executive government would consist of a distinct 
cabinet, containing representatives from each member of the federa- 
tion. In case of a dissolution of the Imperial House of Commons, 


the English and Colonial Parliaments would be also dissolved, in 
order that appeal might be made directly to the people. The 
separate legislatures might however be dissolved when deemed 
necessary by their respective ministries, their members in the 
Imperial House retaining office until their successors were elected. 

This scheme is a modification in several important particulars of 
one of those suggested by Mr. Jehu Matthews, of Toronto, in a 
work — the best I have ever seen on the subject — published some 
years ago, entitled " A Colonist on the Colonial Question." One 
distinction is that the Canadian and other Colonial Parliaments are 
here recognized in the same way as the present English Parliament, 
whereas Mr. Matthews contemplated a curtailment of the powers 
of those, and as I understand it, the election of members of the 
Imperial House directly by the people of each country. 

It would appear at first sight that a house of over eight hundred 
members would be very large. But with some drawbacks there are 
great advantages in a large number of representatives. They cer- 
tainly express the general opinion of the people of the country 
better than a small number. They can, so to speak, back one an- 
cther up. The wise man had said, " In the multitude of counsellors 
there is safety." And after all when you do come to a large assembly, 
the practical inconvenience is no greater in a house of 800 or even 
1000, than in a house of 658. It would be seldom that all the 
members would care to be present ; when they were, it would be the 
simplest matter in the world to arrange so that all could hear the 
speeches and vote. Most of our city churches seat from IOOO to 
1200 persons; the Queen's Hall seats 11 29; our Academy of 
Music accommodates 1200 persons, and one of the theatres in Paris 
seats 3600. A house of forty could obstruct, a house of a thousand 
could expedite, business, if so disposed. There were 788 full mem- 
bers, 985 associate and other members, — 1773 in all, — at the British 
Association meeting in Montreal, about 800 of them from the 
mother country. The principle I have suggested for the repre-^ 
sentation of Canada in the British Parliament is already recognized 
in the Constitution of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian 
Church in the Dominion ; one fourth of the ministers of each pres- 
bytery are members of the Assembly for the year. 

Nor would the colonial members run great risk of being over- 
borne by the compact vote of the 658 English members, because 
apart from the spirit of fair play that eminently characterises our 
nation, the English members are not only divided among the three 
Kingdoms as above, but are split up into parties. The present 
house consists of 332 liberals, 242 conservatives and 62 Home 
Rulers, so that even now the colonial members would easily hold 
the balance of power, and their proportion would go on increasing 
with the greater increase of the colonial population. 

The objection that such a Parliament would necessitate the 
absence from home of a large number of our leading men during a 
considerable portion of the year, seems to be fully met by the pro- 


vision that they should have perfect telegraphic facilities. Under 
such circumstances it would make little difference whether they 
were a hundred or 3000 or 10,000 miles from home. And the only 
loss of time would be that actually consumed in the sea voyage of 
ten days each way for Canadian members, which Sir John A. 
Macdonald seems to think about the best thing for a public man, 
after a season of hard work at the seaside*, and 30 or 35 days for 
Australians. Now I am sure that a far greater number than 8r 
from Canada and 54 from Australia go to England every year on 
business. And surely the management of the affairs of a world 
wide empire is a business of sufficient magnitude to demand such 
a sacrifice. 

And outside of their parliamentary duties our members would be 
able to render the country most valuable services. They would be 
81 of the very best immigration agents, with a perfect knowledge 
of the resources of the country. My friend, Mr. Sidney Fisher, 
M.P. for Brome, in his remarks at the meetings of the British 
Association in Montreal, on many questions relating to the agricul- 
tural and other industries of this country, convinced me of how 
much valuable work could be done in this way. And in this respect 
one of the greatest advantages would arise from the membership of 
French Canadians from this province. London is but a day's jour- 
ney from Paris. By easy transit these members could cross the 
channel, mix with the French people, and there pick up and intro- 
duce among our people the best ideas of French civilization. And 
while the French here are tenacious of the preservation of their 
language, I know of no better way in which this can be done, and 
made useful to themselves and to their fellow citizens in this 
country, than by constant and repeated visits of our ablest public 
men to old France, where the purest French language and ideas 
prevail. A deputation from the Imperial Parliament consisting 
largely of French members would be able to negotiate reciprocal 
trade advantages in a way that is altogether impossible now, for 
they would have the whole of the markets of the British Empire to 
offer in exchange for the markets of France. The presence of these 
members in the British House would form a link that would bind 
in friendship and alliance the French and English nations, so that 
fear of a collision would be reduced to a minimum. And we should 
be able again to sing with its original meaning, now somewhat 
obs^red, the old Crimean war song, 

" May France from England ne'er sever, 
Three cheers for the Red, White and Blue." 

And the absurd prejudice that has prevented the construction of 
the Channel Tunnel, (which is shared in by Professor Goldwin 
Smith), would very quickly disappear if we had a French Canadian 
as Imperial Minister of Public Works. Again, whatever advantage 

* Sir John on leaving for England told the reporters that he needed a rest after the 
hard work he had had at Ottawa and while at Seaside at Riviere dn Loup. 


we may pretend to have over out French fellow citizens in commer- 
cial life, it must be admitted that they rank high as jurists ; and I 
believe that the presence of men like our present Chief Justice on 
the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, the only International 
Tribunal in the world, would be a source of pride and satisfaction 
to our people. Indeed, the many advantages arising from such in- 
tercourse are very hard to estimate, but they would all tend to 
raise our nation to the highest position among the nations of the 
world. And I think, without vanity, I may claim the right to an 
opinion on this subject of friendly intercourse, having for the last 
five years been associated with a French Canadian partner to whom 
I cannot refer but in terms expressive of esteem and affection. 

We may turn now to the economic aspect of the problem. And 
the first question that naturally presents itself is What would be the 
cost of such a scheme ? I know that those who deprecate any con- 
sideration of the subject, raise a great hue and cry about the 
enormous cost of the army and navy, and take the pusillanimous 
ground that Canada is not going to pay for these when she can get 
them as at present for nothing. This is XP unworthy a sentiment, 
from a nation seeking national powers, that it seems sufficient to 
state it broadly to make it contemptible in the eyes of honourable 
men. I may quote some words from Mr. Gladstone, ferreted out 
by an opponent of my views from a report of the Colonial Com- 
mittee in 1859. "No community which is not primarily charged 
with the ordinary business of its own maintenance and defence, is 
really or can be a free community. The privileges of freedom and 
the burdens of freedom are absolutely associated together. To bear 
the burden is as necessary as to enjoy the privilege, in order to form 
that character which is the great security of freedom itself.'' 

•I assert then that Canada in claiming a share in the highest 
national powers is prepared on receiving them to assume national 
responsibilities. Let us see then what these expenses are, bearing 
in mind, however, that they must be incurred no matter what form 
our national independence may assume. And I am sure I shall be 
able to show you that these burdens are small' in comparison with 
the benefits we should derive from the scheme I shall unfold to you 
in a moment. The British Army and Navy Estimates for 1883-4 
were as follows : 

Army ^14,641,000 

Navy 9,278,000 

Army and Navy Pensions 5,947,000 

J diplomacy 618,000 

^30,484,000 = $148,355,000 

If apportioned in the same way as representation, according to 
population, Canada's share would be something less than one-tenth, 
say about fourteen million dollars.* This would give an army of 

A friend of mine, a merchant of Montreal, has suggested that these expenses should 
rathei he- apportioned according to the amount of trade of the several countries. If this 
were the basis, Canada's share would be exactly $6,000,000. 


137,000 men, and a navy of 57,000 seamen and marines. Now I 
should like to know what sort of an army and navy Canada could 
maintain as an independent nation for $14,000,000. Would it be 
one to cope with the United States ? If we look at the United 
States we find that their corresponding expenditure for the same 
year was as follows : 

Army $48,911,000 

Navy 15, 283,000 

Army and Navy Pensions 60,431,000 

Diplomacy 2,419,000 


If Canada were annexed to the United States her share of this 
would be say $12,000,000, and this would give an army of 27,000 
men, and a navy of 11,000. In other words, the expense would be 
six-sevenths, and the strength would be less than one-fifth of that 
of the British army and navy, without counting the Indian troops, 
which, exclusive of native troops, bring the number up to 700,000 
men, all of which would be available in case of need. 

The Imperial charge would then be $14,000,000. From this 
would be deducted Canada's present military expenditure of 
$1,240,000 paid for volunteers, pensions and mounted police, for 
which she would receive credit. But the indemnity of members, 
subsidizing of steamships to carry them across the ocean, and of 
sub-marine telegraphs for free telegraphing, and other expenses, 
might make the sum $14,000,000 in all. How could this be 
raised ? 

The scheme I have the good fortune to present for your consider- 
ation is one that perhaps no Canadian or member of any other 
colony would have ventured to broach. But it is one that has been 
elaborated by an Englishman in a high position in the statistical 
branch of the Customs Department of the United Kingdom. I 
may therefore give it as embodying the ideas of some of those that 
take a practical view of the question from an English standpoint. 
It is conceived in a spirit eminently fair to the colonies and in a 
peculiar degree advantageous to Canada. The gentleman I refer 
to is Mr. Stephen Bourne, F.S.S., of Wallington, Surrey, who 
developed it in a paper read before the British Association in Mon- 
treal, entitled " The Interdependence of the several portions of the 
British Empire. It was published at length in the Montreal 
Gazette of 7th October, 1884. 

Mr. Bourne's scheme was briefly this. That there should be com- 
plete commercial freedom throughout the British Empire. That to 
provide the colonies with that portion of their revenue that they 
now derive from duties on imports from the other parts of the 
Empire, if no other system can be found, a moderate ad valorem cus- 
toms duty should be collected on certain classes of imports, and an 
equivalent excise duty on the same articles produced in the colony. 
That free trade or the same mimimum revenue impost should be 


offered to every nation of the globe. But if any other nation refused 
to accord us the freedom of its markets, a prohibitive duty should 
be imposed on its produce, with power to the Government, by order 
in council, to abolish such duty so soon as that nation was ready 
to grant us admission to its markets on the same terms as its own 
subjects or citizens. This would be the most favoured nation clause 
in commercial treaties. If for a time the colonies were unable to 
supply one another and the English market, or England to supply 
the colonies, it would, of course, be necessary provisionally to modify 
this system, so as to admit the produce of foreign protective nations 
but only upon payment of a smaller or larger duty, always discri- 
minating in favor of the inhabitants of the Empire. 

Let us examine this system in detail, taking it in its less rigour- 
ous and more practicable from of something less than total exclu- 
sion of foreign produce, though I shall continue to use the word 
Prohibitive, merely to denote the duty to be imposed. And let us 
first take up the question of how to raise our revenue, namely the 
$14,000,000 required for Imperial porposes, the $10,000,000 now 
collected on imports from the United Kingdom, $1,000,000 on im- 
ports from the other colonies, and $12,000,000 on imports from 
foreign countries. The total amount of revenue to be raised would 
thus be in the neighbourhood of $37,000,000. The first way in 
which this might be done under Mr. Bourne's scheme is by a 
revenue customs and excise duty on certain classes of mer- 
chandise. This should be imposed on as small a number of articles 
as possible, consistently with the raising of the revenue. It would 
be collected, first, on articles imported from the rest of the Empire 
and from other nations with which free trade relations should have 
been established ; Secondly, On the same articles produced in our 
own country ; and thirdly, In addition to the prohibitive duty, on 
imports from nations that maintain protective duties against us. 
I shall first make the assumption that we should not get free 
trade from other nations. The total amount of our dutable Imports 
in 1883 was something over $90,000,000. Suppose $10,000,000 of 
the same articles produced in Canada. That makes $100,000,000 
out of which our revenue has to be drawn. Of the $90,000,000, 
$48,000,000 was imported from foreign nations. But if we adopt a 
highly discriminating duty against them, we must expect this 
amount to be largely reduced : let us say it would fall to $25,000,- 
000. The balance would be either produced here, or imported 
from within the Empire. The produce of the Empire would then 
be $75,000,000. To yield the necessary revenue then would 
require an ad valorem duty of 30 per cent, on the produce of the 
Empire, and the same with 30 per cent, additonal on imports from 
foreign nations. 

The Budget estimates would them be : 

30 per cent, on $43,000,000 now imported from 

within the Empire $ 12,900,000 

" " " $10,000,000 produced i n 

Canada 3,000,000 

" " " $23,000,000 now imported 
from foreign countries, but to be pro- 
duced within the Empire 6,900,000 22,8co,ooo 

60 per cent, on $25,000,000 to be imported 

from foreign nations 15,000,000 15,000,000 


Our present average rate of duty on dutable imports is 25.29 per 
cent. The United States rate on dutable imports is 42.646. 

We could therefore raise all the revenue we require, including the 
$14,000,000 for Imperial purposes, by increasing our rate of duty on 
imports from the Empire, 4.71 per cent., or from 25.29 to 30 per 
cent., which is still 12.646 per cent, less than the American rate ; 
and by raising the duty on imports from nations that refuse us free 
trade to 60 per cent. 

These rates might be considerably reduced, perhaps to 25 and 
50 per cent, respectively, by reason of revenue to be derived from 
certain classes of articles now imported from foreign nations free of 
duty, but on which under the new system, duties would have to be 
imposed. This would apply to about $12,000,000 of the $19,000,- 
000 free goods now imported from foreign nations, fish, settlers' 
effects, government stores and certain other articles remaining 

It might seem as if it would do little to foster our trade with the 
United Kingdom, if instead of repealing our duties they were 
maintained at 25 or increased to 30 per cent. But in reality it 
would give them practically free admission to our markets, because 
the same duty would be collected also from producers of the same 
articles here, and in addition to the prohibitive duty of 30 per cent, 
from foreign protective nations. All the English could demand would 
be that there should be no discrimination against them in our own 
favour. And this tax being purely for revenue would be in no way 
incompatible with free trade. Nor would 60 per cent, duty destroy 
our trade with foreign countries, because only half of it would be 
prohibitive, and the rest would be paid also by producers in the 

Another means by which a considerable portion of our revenue 
might be raised is by an income and property tax, similar in prin- 
ciple to that now in force in Montreal, which I have heard praised 
by very high economic authorities, provided it be collected impar- 
tially. I have examined the lists of persons enumerated in the last 
census of Canada, as engaged in profitable occupations. They are 
1,400,000 in number. A revenue of $ 1 0,000,000 could be collected 

* If 6,000,000 only were required for Imperial expenses, a duty of 24 per cent, on 
British and 48 per cent, on foreign produce, would be more than sufficient. 


from these by an income tax of 3 per cent., taking the assessable 
incomes at a very low valuation, — merchants and manufacturers' in- 
comes being put at $1000, professional men, innkeepers and gentle- 
men of private means' (rentiers), at $500, merchants' clerks and other 
mercantile men's at $300, farmers and industrial employees'at $200, 
farmers' sons, fishermen, seamen, miners and laborers' at $100 a 
year. As an incentive to the due payment of this tax, the Upper 
Chamber of the Legislature might be made elective, and every tax 
payer have a right to votes for the members thereof in proportion 
to the amount of taxes he paid. If this or some such system were 
adopted, the Customs and Excise duties on the products of the 
Empire could be reduced to 20 or even to 15 per cent. And it 
seems to me that it would be a fair division if the $14,000,000 
necessary for our share of Imperial expenses were raised by that 
means, and $10,000,000 of the amount required for our own pur- 
poses were raised by the property and income tax. 

On the other assumption, namely that the United States and 
other protective nations would not adhere to their protective 
duties, but woul I grant us free trade, then I should imagine trade 
would increase to such an extent that the same rate of duty would 
raise all the revenue needed. If not, the United States would have 
to impose internal taxes to raise the revenue they required, and we 
could adopt the same system of internal taxation as they, in order 
that neither of us should have any artificial advantage over the 

Proceeding now to consider the other features of Mr. Bourne's 
scheme, it at once appear that the advantage to Canada of such a 
policy as he has outlined would be enormous. And the advantage 
would be great, whatever the effect produced on protective nations. 
Nearly all protectionists who have any knowledge of political 
economy, certainly Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir Leonard Tilly, and 
the other members of the present Conservative Government of 
Canada, hold that free trade is the best policy, provided you can get 
free trade all round Sir John's formula was reciprocity of trade or 
reciprocity of tariffs. And he has many times declared, and has 
placed it on record on the Statute book, that he is willing to enter 
into reciprocal trade relations with the United States, Free trade 
with that country is all that we should get by Commercial Union. 
The objection Canada has to that policy is not that it would increase 
our trade with them, but that they declare their determination to 
admit us to their markets only on condition that we place greater 
restrictions on our trade with all other nations, discriminating even 
against Free Trade England, taxing English goods double, so as to 
make up the revenue lost by admitting American goods free ; the 
injustice of which policy is manifest, and our people must never 
resort to so contemptible an expedient. Now u-nder Mr. Bourne's 
scheme the United States as well as other nations that have protec- 
tive tariffs would be given to understand that unless they abolish 
their protective duties as regards the British Empire, the Empire will 


effectually shut them out from her markets, or make them pay a 
heavy tribute for the benefit of the colonies on all they send into 
the Empire. 

The high tariff now in force in the United States is designed to 
foster the interests of the Eastern manufactures. But if the Western 
farmers, who now really control the elections, if the people generally 
of the United States, were to see that they are about to lose their 
market for over $400,000,000 of their yearly produce, or are to be 
obliged to pay duties to build up their rivals in the colonies of the 
Empire, is it likely they would continue to submit to such a tariff? 
Would they see the farmers of the Canadian Northwest getting 90 c. 
a bushel for wheat, when they could get only 75 cents, without mak- 
ing their influence felt at the polls ? I do not think so. The pro- 
bability is that at the next general election after the declaration of 
such a policy, the farmers of the west would arise in their might, 
sweep away the protective tariff, and insist upon giving free trade 
to the British Empire rather than lose the British markets. It was 
partly in the hope of coercing the United States into reciprocity that 
the protective tariff was adopted in Canada. But it is manifest that 
Canada's trade is not of sufficient magnitude to overturn the policy 
of that nation, Canada consuming only 5.75 per cent of the do- 
mestic export of the United States, while the English market is by 
far their best, being 52 per cent, for the British Isles alone, and 61 
per cent, for the whole Empire. Germany, which comes next, takes 
only 8 per cent., and France, the third, less than 7 per cent. (Re- 
turns of 1883). England's proportion of the total foreign trade of 
the United States is shown by the top red line in their Commerce 
and Navigation volume. The United States are far n^ore depen- 
dent on the British markets than the British Empire is on them. 
For while the American export to the British Isles is 52 per cent, of 
its total, the export of domestic produce from the United Kingdom 
to the United States is only 1 1.45 per cent, of its total ; that from 
the United Kingdom to "the British possessions, on the other hand, 
is 34.93 per cent. 

If then the United States were induced to give us free trade, as 
it is clearly their interest to do, we should then have all the advan- 
tages of commercial union, without the accompanying disadvantage 
of closing our ports to all the other nations of the world. It would 
be the same with France as with the United States, only perhaps 
France would decide upon it sooner. The other nations would fol- 
low suit, and the grand ideal of universal free trade would be at- 

Suppose, however, that this effect were not produced : suppose 
that the United States persisted in maintaining their protective 
duties. What would be the consequence ? Canada would then 
have, for all she now produces in competition with the United 
States, a monopoly of the English markets. We all know what an 
advantage this is in the matter of live cattle. What would it' be if 
applied to all her products ? Why it is utterly impossible to csti- 


mate, almost impossible to conceive it. The United Kingdom now 
imports from the United States over $400,000,000 a year, for 
$220,000,000 of which she is a competitor of Canada. Tnus, of live 
cattle and sheep, of meat, of wheat, barley and other grains, furs, 
hides, skins, butter, cheese, agricultural implements, leather and 
wood manufactures, the U. S. export to England in 1883 was 
$210,000,000, the other $10,000,000 being of a variety of articles ; 
while Canada's total export was $47,000,000. Now this comparison 
is with the United States alone. But of the principal articles now 
imported by England from Canada, England's total import in 1883 
was $700,000,000, of which $60,000,000 was from Canada and New- 
foundland, $50,000,000 from other colonies, and $590,000,000 from 
foreign nations. The exact amounts in sterling are : British North 
America, £11,970,000; other British possessions. £10,775,000; 
Total British possessions, £22,745,000, Foreign countries, £118,- 
,000. Grand total, £141,654,000. 

Imports into the United Kingdom, 1883, 

{In £ sterling, the last three figures omitted.) 



Animals living : horned cattle ] 


Bacon and Hams 

Beef fresh 

and pork salted 


Cheese ] 

Corn : Wheat 



Maize or Indian Corn 

Barley and other 

Wheat flour 


Dye stuffs : Tanning extracts 


Fruit : apples 



Manures : Phosphate of lime and rock 

Meat, preserved (otherwise thanhy salting) 

Oil : train or hluhher 


Skins and Furs 

Wood and timber : hewn 1 

Sawn and split • 

Staves , 

Furniture and house frames. 

£11,970 £10,775 £141,654 




O ft 




£ "S 









































































2 49 













Of the £1 1,970,000 Newfoundland's share was ^"415,000, leaving 
for Canada proper £1 1,555,000, besides ^209,000 of other articles not 
enumerated above, which makes the total for Canada proper ;£n,- 
764,000, total for Newfoundland £$ 1 9,000, for all British North 
America ^12,283,000. We can see then that Canada's market 
would by such a poliey as Mr. Bourne's be increased about tenfold. 
And it is just such a market that we require for the rapid falling up 
of our Northwest, — an infinitely better market than the United 
States can be, because the States have themselves already a large 
surplus of all we can produce. The best trade is that between coun- 
tries whose products are dissimilar. It is clear of course that Canada 
could not all of a sudden produce all this quantity. But India and 
Australia have already sprung into great wheat growing countries, 
Australia also produces animals and meat. So all the colonies and 
free trade countries together could soon supply the English market. 
Canada however would have an enormous advantage over all the 
other colonies, being so much nearer the English market, namely 10 
days steam passage, as compared with 28 days to Bombay the 
nearest port in India, 38 to Calcutta, 46 days to Hongkong in China 
and from 30 to 40 days to Australia. What a stupendous effect this 
would have on our trade, on our riches ! It would be untold millions to 
us. For every dollar of additional taxation we should have to pay, 
we would have five, ten, twenty dollars to pay it with. 

But to enable Canada to produce this, she must have more people. 
And this is another thing that England can supply her with. The 
surplus population of England would pour rapidly into our North 
west, if it were no longer a colony, but had become an integral part 
of the Empire. By the influx of a large number of immigrants, we 
might, in a single year, go a long way towards filling up the gap 
between our capability of production and the requirements of the 
English market. Put a hundred thousand English farmers into 
the north west in the spring, and in the fall they would have abun- 
dant crops to ship back to England. Now in the past the English 
have not been to the extent they should, an emigrating people. 
Contrary to what is generally supposed, there is a comparatively 
small number of Englishmen or Scotchmen in the United States. 
According to the last American Census, the total number of inhab- 
itants who had been born in England and Wales was 745,000 
drawn from a population in England of over 25,000000 ; 170,000 
born in Scotland, drawn from a population of over 3,500,000, making 
915,000 from Great Britain. The Irish on the other hand have been 
more largely an emigrating people ; of those in the United States 
born in Ireland, there were 1,854,000, from a population in Ireland of 
slightly over 5,000,000. 

Even now for the English and Scotch, the attractive force of the 
colonies is much greater than that of the United States ; for while 
an American population of 50,000,000 has drawn only 915,000, or 
less than 2 per cent, a Canadian, population of 4,500,000 has drawn 
284,000, or 6.33 per cent, and a population of 900,000 in Victoria, 


the most populous of the Australian colonies, has drawn 201,000 or 
22 per cent. I have not been able to get the census statistics of the 
other Australian colonies, but from other sources of information, ob- 
tained through the kindness of Mr. Macmaster M.P., from the Parlia- 
mentary library at Ottawa, I have been able to estimate that the net 
emigration of English and Scotch to Australia, during the 31 years 
from 1853 to 1883 has been 25.24 per cent, of their present popula- 
tion. The reverse of this holds true for the Irish emigrants, but 
let us hope that under the new regime of governing Ireland on the 
principles of equity and justice, their warm and loyal affections may 
be united to our great Empire, as firmly as those of the English and 
Scotch. As an emigration plan then Mr. Bourne's is one of the 
most magnificent that could be devised. 

And what policy would be such a mine of wealth to our great 
railways ? To bring the produce of our North West to the sea- 
board at Montreal would almost overtax the carrying powers of the 
Canadian Pacific Railway. They would very soon begin to pay 
good dividends. Instead of being handicapped by their great 
transcontinental rivals, they would have the best trade of the coun- 
try. And if they were wise in not overcharging the farmers, they 
might retain their trade for many years. Possibly in course of time, 
so great would be the export, that another outlet would have to be 
sought ; and the Hudson's Bay route would be opened up. For like 
Sir Richard Temple, I believe that the Hudson's Bay route is a 
possibility. If the Hudson's Bay Company have been able to navi- 
gate it for a hundred years, with little wooden sailing ships, surely 
specially built iron steampships would be able to. Undoubtedly 
by that time, also, and perhaps, if rumour speaks true, long before, 
the tea trade of China and Japan will have sought this as the short- 
est and best line to Europe. The Grand Trunk also would find its 
traffic, both inward and outward, enormously increased. For the 
rich province of Ontario will supply almost unlimited traffic to this 
great railway, when once restrictions at the seaboard are minimised, 
and imports and exports pass back and forward as freely as the pro- 
ducts of this country ; and possibly the new Bonaventure Station 
might be built ! While our shipping both in the Province of Quebec 
and in the Maritime Provinces, would be vastly stimulated. 
Becomi ig part of Britannia, we would like Bvitannia, rule the waves. 

But I shall be told our manufactures would be ruined, that we 
should be turned into a purely agricultural community, that the 
cities would disappear from the face of the earth. Well I am not 
going into the question as to which is the more desirable population, 
a rural or an urban. I would not discriminate against either, but let 
each have fair play, and allow people to follow their natural bent. 
But I do not think in a country like Canada with a northwest such 
as we have to open up, it is wise to discourage the farmers. I pro- 
pose however to show that Canadian manufactureswould not die, 
but that they would be manifestly benefited by the policy I am now 
advocating. I assert that by far the larger number of Canadian 


manufactures have nothing to fear from the manufacturers of Eng- 
land, that the great bulk of manufactures therefore would be 
actually benefitted by a policy of free trade with England, and pro- 
hibition against the United States. This will appear in two ways. 
First, if under the old tariff, the United States were able to compete 
with England, in any manufacture for which we have equal natural 
facilities with the United States, Canada, upon the United States 
being shut out from competition, would be able to compete with 
England. This may not apply to cotton in which the United 
States have the raw mateiial closer at hand, nor possibly to some 
kinds of hardware so far as their production in the United States 
depends upon the supply of iron in Pennsylvania. Though in the 
latter case, if, as I am informed is the case, the reason we bought 
our axes, chisels and other edge tools from the States, was not that 
they were cheaper than the same classes of articles produced in 
England, but because they were of a pattern that the English 
manufacturers did not produce, in that case Canada would be well 
able to compete with England. For English makers are sometimes 
slow at adopting a new pattern, but manufacturers in Canada could 
adopt and have adopted these. And with iron still imported 
from England cheaper than it can be produced iri Pennsylvania (in 
spite of a single transaction to the contrary), we should be able to 
hold our own. Here then is a list of manufactured goods, in which 
under the old tariff the United States competed with England, in 
some supplying a larger in others a smaller quantity. And it will 
be remembered that there was no discrimination against either. 
These are taken from the returns for 1879, and include only articles 
whose import exceeded $100,000, and only those that I believe are 
now manufactured in Canada. 

Articles. From United States. From United Kingdom. 

Refined Sugar 3,000,000 1,100,000 

Hardware 1,345,000 391,000 

Cotton Jeans 1,013,000 1,535,000 

Manufactures 945,000 1,779,000 

Bleach'd 6° Unbleach'd 647,000 256,000 

Small wares 649,000 1,242,000 

Sugar, Low grades 470,000 74,000 

Hats and caps 421,000 225,000 

Wood manufac's N.E.S. 274,000 24,000 

Pianos 273,000 14,000 

Iron Castings and stoves . 248,000 44,000 

Furniture 237,000 10,000 

Coal, Bituminous 223,000 1 1 1,000 

Boots and Shoes 178,000 15,000 

Tobacco 177,000 16,000 

Cotton Clothing 169,000 145,000 

Paper 156,000 32,000 

Drugs 146,600 191,000 

Leather.... 131,000 72,000 

Wool manufactures 124,000 4,230,000 

Sailcloth 124,000 40,000 

Fancy Goods 117,000 404,000 

Straw hats 105,000 96,000 

Carriages 103.000 3,000 

$11,275,000 $12,049,000 


If then Canada could manufacture $11,000,000 of manufactured 
goods that were formerly imported from the United States, that 
would certainly give an impetus to certain branches of trade. 

But there is another way in which we can arrive at the effect that 
would be produced upon our manufactures by free trade with Eng- 
land and prohibition against the United States. Taking the list 
of our manufacturing industries given in the new Census, we find 
that 60 per cent, of all industries employing more than 2,000. hands 
were the following : Saw mills, Boots and Shoes, Carriage making, 
Preserved food, Flour and grist mills, Cabinet and furniture, Car- 
penters and Joiners, Tanneries, Shipyards, Agricultural Implements, 
Tobacco, Cooperage, Harness and saddlery, Sash, door and blind fac- 
tories, Shingle-making and Cheese factories, — these giving employ- 
ment to 1 27,000 out of 155,000. They have nothing to fear from Eng- 
lish, and they would certainly be benefited by exclusion of American, 
competition. Again 17 per cent, more were engaged in the follow- 
ing : Blacksmithing, Dressmaking, Printing, Brick and tile making, 
Bakeries and Limekilns ; which employ 36,000 more. These I be- 
lieve would not be injuriously affected by free trade with England. 
The two make together 163,000 out of 210,000, or Jj per cent. The 
same percentage would hold good for the minor industries, — those 
employing a smaller number of hands. The total industrial em- 
ployees were 255,000 of which JJ per cent, is 196000. These I 
claim would gain. Even the others, though they would have to face 
English competition, would have cheaper raw material and ma- 
chinery than they have now, and would have the protection afforded 
by the cost of carriage from England to Canada. I think therefore 
I am right in saying that the only class that could in any way suffer, 
would be a small fraction of Hot house Protegees, whose industries 

111, O J 

should never have been established in the. country, as we do not 
possess natural facilities for carrying them on profitably. 

But I go further and say that our Canadian manufactures would 
be actually stimulated, to supply the English market with a great 
deal that is now supplied by the United States. The United States 
now send to England $22,500,000 of the following articles : Agricul- 
tural Implements, Carriages, Boots and shoes and other leather 
manufactures, butter, cheese, preserved meats, Sewing machines, 
Furniture and other wood ware. I have taken only the largest 
classes, but there are many other small manufactures of which the 
same is true. 

To sum up then, if the United States were induced te the policy A- 
indicated, to give us free trade, we would have a market of 50,000,000 
in addition to the other markets of the world. If they were not, 
we should have a monopoly of a market of 307,000,000 persons in 
our own Empire, for our 'Agricultural, Animal, Forest, Fish and 
Mineral produce, and for certain classes of manufactures. Sixty 
per cent, of our manufactures would be stimulated, yy per cent, 
would be beneficially affected if at all, and the rest would have 
cheaper raw material. This would indeed be literally millions 


upon millions to the wealth of Canada. I cannot pretend to esti- 
mate it, — it would be limited only by the very utmost degree of our 
producing power. In short then looking at the matter in every 
light, Canada has a great deal to gain by the acceptance of this 

But is England likely to adopt this policy ? I venture to say 
that it is likely. If once attention be closely drawn to the number, 
value and extent of her colonial possessions, she would adopt any 
policy that would secure them permanently to her. There are a 
thousand reasons why she should ; and the subject has only to be 
agitated and discussed to bring this out. It is, in fact, the only way 
in which she can remain a first class power. We shall of course be 
told that England is committed to free trade, that nothing will in- 
duce her to depart from it. Well these general assumptions are 
really of very little value. I have yet to learn that England is 
irrrevocably committed to anything. One thing is certain : England 
knows that however good a thing her free trade policy has been, it 
is only half as good as universal free trade would be. And the very 
hope of securing universal free trade, apart from the Colonial ques- 
tion altogether, might go a long way towards inducing her to adopt 
this policy. There is no doubt that England desires universal free 
trade. It is true some croakers say that in that event England 
would lose a great deal of the cotton trade with China and Japan, 
in favour of the United States. But I do not believe it. So long 
as she has her colonies she must have her splendid mercantile 
marine. And so long as she has her commercial fleet, it will be 
impossible for any nation to dislodge her from foreign markets, and 
particularly for a nation that has destroyed its shipping so that only 
16.3 p.c. of its own commerce is carried in its own ships. It will long 
continue cheaper to transport raw cotton by water to England, 
and by water from England to the East, than by rail to the manu- 
facturers of the Eastern States, and by rail to the Pacific coast, and 
thence by sea to China and Japan. And if the United States 
could compete with England she certainly could not compete 
with British India, which is a cotton-growing country where 
labour is and will remain infinitely cheaper than in America, 
and which is only twelve days water transit from China. Indeed 
to suppose that England will lose her foreign trade is as chimerical 
as the scare got up a few years ago, that her coal mines 
would become exhausted. It was found on looking into the latter 
question, that they probably would, but it would take some thou- 
sands if not millions of years for it to happen. And I .think 
Englishmen have been able to sleep comfortably under the prospect. 
But after all this is low ground to take. The truth is that mankind 
would be benefited if obstructions to trade and intercourse between 
all nations were removed. And it is one of the chief recommenda- 
tions of the policy I am now advocating that it would afford one of 
the strongest inducements to all nations to take the fetters off their 
intercourse with one another. 


The question really is How would England be affected if the 
protective nations did not adopt that alternative, if they maintained 
their protective tariffs. Well, in this case the benefit would un- 
doubtedly be primarily to the colonies. But looking at this question 
purely from an English standpoint, would it not itself abundantly 
repay her ? We know that with no discrimination in their favour, 
already trade with the colonies advances much more rapidly than 
trade witn foreign countries, and possess elements of permanency 
that the latter does not. The exports to foreign countries in 1855 
were £87,000,000, in 1882, £214,000,000, an advance of 246 per 
cent., the exports to the colonies in 1855 were £28,000,000 in 1882, 
£92.000,000, an advance of 328 per cent. Again the colonies are a 
much more valuable market per head of population. The following 
nations are her largest foreign customers, and I shall give the ex- 
ports to each of them in 1882, per head of their respective popula- 
tions, placing the produce of the United Kingdom in the first column, 
and the total export in the second : 

Per Head. Per Head. 

Foreign Countries. Import Prod. U. K. Total from U. K. 

United States £o«59 .... £0.74 

Germany 0.41 . . . 0.67 

France 0.46 . ... 0.79 

Holland 2.25 . . . 3.89 

Belgium 1.46 . . . .2.73 

Russia 0.05 . . . 0.08 

Italy 0.23 . , . .0.26 

Spain, 0.22 . . . 0.29 


Channel Islands 6.57 . ... 8.94 

Canada 2.10 . . . 3 31 

Newfoundland 3. 28 . . . . 3. 74 

South Africa, Natal 3.74 . . . 4.06 

Cape of Good Hope. . .. 8.32 . ... 8.95 

Australia 9.23 . . . 10.36 

It will be seen, then, that the lowest of the colonies, which I am 
sorry to say is Canada, is more than three times as good a customer, 
relatively to population, as the United States; that the colonies 
generally are from three to twelve times as good customers as Eng- 
land's three largest foreign customers ; and that the only foreign 
countries that compare with the colonies are Holland and Belgium, 
which are almost free trade countries, Holland's import duties being 
insignificant, and Belgium's very low, and one or other of these really 
including Switzerland, whose population should have been taken 
into account, but has not. If, therefore, trade with the colonies 
were properly fostered, it would take but little time for it to equal, 
and even to exceed, foreign trade. Again, the colonies situated 
in every quarter of the globe are, for the most part, new countries, 
with immense undeveloped resources. If, then, British enterprise 
were diverted from foreign fields, and directed to the colonies, the 
possibilities of the expansion of their trade, their wealth, are absolut- 
ely unlimited. And this could only be done if the people of these 


colonies were brought officially into the closest connexion with the 
capitalists and people of the mother country. 

It may nevertheless be true that, for a limited time, the price of 
imported food into England would slightly increase. To the vast 
majority of the people this would entail but slight convenience, and 
that only temporary, and would be in some measure offset by a re- 
peal of the present duties on tea, coffee and cocoa, imported from 
the colonies, which are pretty heavy; and the question is merely 
whether they are willing to put up with such inconvenience for the 
accomplishment of the object contemplated by this policy. The 
English people have been called upon to make great sacrifices be- 
fore now, and for less worthy objects than to build up their great 
Empire. They have submitted to heavy burdens of taxation for 
the carrying on of costly wars. Could they not bear something in 
the interest of their fellow-subjects beyond the seas ? It would be 
only the investment of a prudent man, sure to make a handsome 
return in the future. In building up their colonies they would be 
providing a sure market for their future products ; not trusting 
blindly to the chance good-will or enlightenment of foreign nations 
for the removal of restrictions on trade, but with the certainty that 
no restrictions would ever be imposed. They would, in fact, be lay- 
ing up for themselves and for their children a heritage richer and 
more glorious than they could look forward to in any other way. 

And at the sariie time as they were doing this, they would be 
wiping out their national debt out of the enormous revenues this 
system would bring into the coffers of the government. So that by 
the time other nations would have begun to think about combina- 
tions to offset their power, they would be relieved of the great bulk 
of their present taxation, and would have all the greater advantage 
over all competitors. 

But what is supposed to attach the people of England peculiarly 
to their system of free trade, is that in the past it prevented and re- 
lieved distress. Suppose, however, they can be satisfied that there 
is another and a better way in which distress maybe prevented and 
relieved. I have said that the majority of the people might have 
some temporary inconvenience. But it is possible there might be 
a fraction of the people upon whom it would bring a measure almost 
of distress. Well it is in the interest of these people more than any 
others that this scheme may be said to have been devised. For, for 
those who are so ill off, so near starvation point, that even a slight 
increase in the price of food would bring them into distress, surely 
the sooner they leave their present homes and take up a homestead 
in one of the British colonies, the better for all concerned. In this 
view, a slight hardship would be a blessing to mankind ; for it would 
induce those who are now on the very verge of indigence to remove 
to those parts of the world where they are most wanted, and thus 
relieve the overpressure of population at home. For it is an 
essential part of a scheme for the consolidation of the Empire, that 
no distress would be permitted. Emigration (then it would be merely 


Migration) would be a stimulation to a degree that would effectually 
remove any possibility of hunger and want at home. And the re- 
moval of these people would simply be to provide a better market 
for ail England produces, in a country where they would be able to 
make something with which to pay for what they consumed. And 
we have seen that every Canadian colonist is worth three Americans 
to the English producer. 

Nor must we forget that the interests of some of the chief indus- 
tries of the United Kingdom are identical with our own in this 
matter ; and especially the agricultural interest. We know with 
how much difficulty the members of the Anti-Corn Law League 
persuaded the Agriculturists of England to consent to the abolition 
of duties on farm produce. We could therefore count on the hearty 
co-operation of the farmers of the mother country, who form, I need 
not tell you, one of the most important elements in the population. 
And this is the class to whom an extension of the suffrage is just 
being given by the new Franchise Bill. By the assimilation of the . 
County and Borough Franchise, 2,000,000 voters chiefly in the rural 
constituencies, have been added to the Parliamentary electors. And 
these are the men whose interests are enlisted on our side in the 
endeavour, until we can get reciprocity from other nations, to keep 
the British markets for the British people. 

But I think we may with confidence leave the English side of the 
question to the English people. I believe it has to come to this, 
that an Imperial Federation must at the outset be accompanied 
with an Imperial Customs Union. And I have no fear but that 
when the English people take hold seriously of this question, and 
make up their minds that the thing should be done, the difficulties 
will rapidly vanish away. 

And now but one word in closing : Lord Roseberry in addressing 
the Trades Union Congress at Aberdeen, told them that the Fran- 
chise bill was of small importance in comparison with the question 
of Imperial federation. In the same way I am convinced that the 
question of free trade itself is of small importance in comparison 
with this. Mr. Bourne announced himself a free trader. I am my- 
self a free trader, — even, in the elegant language of Canadian pon- 
tics, a jug handle free trader, — believing that economically free trade 
is the best system even if adopted only on one side. But just as there 
are times in domestic life when considerations of economy are of 
secondary importance, so in national affairs, there are occasions 
when economic considerations sink into comparative insignificance. 
And this is one of these cases. I believe indeed that in the long 
run it will be true economic policy for England to establish a world 
wi le consolidated Empire, even though at the expense of some 
immediate sacrifice. For every interest of civilization will be greatly- 
promoted by a grand far-reaching scheme by which so many of what 
must be the great nations of the future shall be brought into rela- 
tions with one another of the closest and most enduring character. 
And we Canadians shall be recreant to our trust if we do not do our 


part to forward so grand, so sublime a scheme : if we pursue the 
shortsighted policy of allowing to slip from our grasp the joint 
heritage we have with all our fellow subjects, in possessions that dot 
every sea, that extend vastly over every continent, spreading the 
exalted civilization of our race into the remotest corners of the word. 

Afterthe close of the address, Sir William Dawson in moving 
a vote of thanks, observed that the subject of federation had been 
agitated for at least forty years, though, in his opinion, never with 
such prospects of success as now, when the facilities for rapid com- 
munication had removed the only insuperable obstacle that once 
stood in the way of a closer union than at present exists of the 
different parts of the Empire. He also said it should be remembered 
that the British empire was held together not so much by Britons 
themselves, for they formed a minority of its subjects, as by British 
principles, the three most potent of which are British freedom, 
British energy, and British administrative purity. In concluding he 
paid a graceful compliment to the society and its president, remark- 
ing that, though the latter had said McGill ought to have a faculty 
for the training of statesmen, the existence of the society rendered 
the establishment of such a faculty unnecessary.